Big boost for India’s travel and tourism sector! The country has moved up six places in the latest travel and tourism competitiveness index. The WEF report on Wednesday shows that India moved from its 40th rank to 34th rank on the world travel and tourism competitiveness index. Best of all, India accounts for a major chunk of South Asia’s travel and tourism GDP, making it one of the most competitive T&T-oriented economies in the sub-region itself. In contrast, the report states that Pakistan remains the least competitive country in South Asia in travel and tourism, including the region’s least favourable safety and security (134th) conditions.
Looking at India’s performance as per sub-regional perspective, the report indicates India has better air infrastructure, ground and port infrastructure, international openness and natural and cultural resources. However, India needs to enhance its enabling environment, tourist service infrastructure and environmental sustainability.
The report further noted that when making a comparison with global benchmarks, the country can further make improvements so as to add price competitiveness (13th) to its roster of strengths.
Notably, China is ranked as Eastern Asia-Pacific’s largest T&T economy, which accounts for more than one-half of the sub-region’s T&T GDP. China also has the index’s best score for the Natural and Cultural resources sub-index but faces hurdles on Environmental Sustainability (120th). Several red flags have been raised such as very high air pollution, deforestation, endangered wildlife, depleting water resources and continued insufficient wastewater treatment.
Interestingly, Bangladesh indicated the greatest percentage increase in T&T competitiveness in the world. The country has moved up five places in the rankings. For Bangladesh, the most significant improvement came from safety and security (123rd to 105th), which had been a major concern in previous years.
Here are some more interesting observations as per the WEF report on travel and tourism competitiveness index 2019:
- Japan remains the top scorer at rank 4th.
- Mongolia indicated the greatest improvement in score by percentage but also remains the sub-region’s least competitive country.
- Taiwan has the sub-region’s largest decline in terms of competitiveness. This is due to tightened visa requirements.
- According to the WEF report, the world’s most travel-ready nations are Spain, France, Germany and the US.